Ivar's Clam Chowder

"I've had this recipe for three years. If I remember right the person who gave it to me said it came from a newspaper article from Seattle Washington. I love this recipe. Just be careful not to make this when you're really tired. Worst cooking disaster was misreading 1/2 tea sugar for 1/2 cup. Talk about yuck! Cooking and prep time is just a guess. It's been a good year since I made this last."
photo by *Parsley* photo by *Parsley*
photo by *Parsley*
photo by Lee P. photo by Lee P.
photo by Tinkerbell photo by Tinkerbell
Ready In:
1 pot




  • In a medium saucepan, drain the juice from the clams; set the clams aside.
  • Combine clam juice with the onions, celery and potatoes.
  • Add enough water to barely cover and simmer, covered, over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter.
  • Add flour and stir in to the butter.
  • Slowly whisk in the warm half-and-half.
  • Cook and whisk until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes.
  • If you want a thinner chowder, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup water or clam broth.
  • Add the vegetables with their cooking liquid, clams, salt, pepper and sugar to the pan.
  • Stir well and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Gwen K.
    can I substitute heavy cream for half and half?
  2. Carolyn G.
    how many does this serve


  1. Mole1338
    I've made this 4 times and am making it again tonight...just haven't found the time to review it. Living in the PNW, we love clam chowder, and this recipe is so simple and decadent at the same time. Only change we usually make is add MORE CLAMS, since my family can't get enough. Will keep forever.
  2. Calvinscustoms
    Wow it tastes just like ivers.reminds me of Mukilteo ivers next to the fairy.
  3. Lee P.
    Born and raise in Seattle - worked @ Ivar's in Ballard, U-District & Northgate - in addition to working @ both Salmon House & Pier 54 fish bars - just made chowder (but added bacon) delish!
    • Review photo by Lee P.
  4. RockyS.
    This is the best!!! I made it exactly as written ...me and the fam. loved it. I read many, many recipes before settling on this one. Boy am I glad I did! I've made it many times since my first time. Thanks for a great recipe.
  5. Ted N.
    Ivar's clam chowder has bacon in it. Where is the bacon?


  1. Lee P.
    1 can clams instead of 2 & added bacon ;)
  2. A.S.K.
    I made this chowder today, and we loved it! I made a few changes after reading some of the reviews. First I replaced 1/4 cup of butter with bacon drippings. I used 1% milk instead of the half and half. I also used 5 cans of chopped clams and a 8 ounce bottle of clam juice and didn't use any water. I also added 6 pieces of chopped bacon. I forgot the sugar, and am glad I did, didn't need it. After tasting I added 1 tsp of old bay. I served this chowder with oyster crackers, and hot sauce. I think next time I will cook the celery in the butter/grease it didn't quite soften up to our liking. Also I might not use the bottled clam juice next time, as it was a little thin, but still delicious! My eight year old said "This has got to be the best clam dish ever in the history of the world!" Now that is high praise! Thanks for posting!
  3. total-balance
    Yes! We LOVED this recipe, now we don't have to travel 140 miles to enjoy Ivar's! I added an extra can of clams, substituted 3 tbsp dehydrated minced onion rehydrated with 6 tbsp hot water for the fresh onion, and substituted 4 cups fat free condensed milk for the half & half and the recipe was still AWESOME (and a quite a bit lower in fat!). Prep time took me more than 10 minutes, but it was well worth it!!


I'm happily remarried to a wonderful and loving husband who enjoys my cooking. :) <br> <br>I have two beautiful little girls who are growing too fast! I can't believe how tall they're getting! <br> <br>I don't cook as much as I used to, but this is still the only place I get my recipes! YUM!
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